Thursday, April 25, 2013

Learning how to ride a bike

I learned how to ride a bike long ago. I remember my Dad taking the training wheels off that bike on the 1st nice spring day (usually occuring in April back when the Midwest actually got springtime). He held on to my bike, told me he wouldn't let go, and after a few seconds -- he let go and I was on my own!

I remember that invigorating feeling of, "Holy crap, I'm doing this on my own! I'm really doing this!" and then that stark realization of, "Oh crap, how do I stop?!?!".

Well, over a decade later, I went through this process again last night. My new bike came in the mail -- and a friend of mine has a cousin who happens to be quite the "bicycle guru". He graciously assembled my new bike for me, adjusted it, and had me test ride it up and down the street so we could adjust the handle bars and seat properly.

Except there's one small problem.....my bike doesn't have pedals. It had these "clipless" little stubs you install (which cost a very pretty penny, may I add) And my cycling shoes have cleats that clip in.

In order to pedal, you have to clip the cleat on the bottom of your shoe into this torture device. And in order to get out of it, one much cock their foot to the side and "clip out". As you can see......this takes coordination. If you know anything about me as a general person, you know that coordination and Abby do not go together!

So there I was, in the middle of that street....with my friend's cousin (whom I just met) pushing me (a grown woman) down the street. Coaching me, "You've got this! Now clip your left foot in! There you go!"  I'm sure he hasn't done this since his own daughter's learned to ride their bikes. All I could think was, "I look and feel like such a tool right now."

Although I've known how to ride a bike for many years, getting serious about road biking is seriously like learning how to ride a bike again! It has been a humbling process. Last week when I purchased my shoes -- that have these zip-tie-like straps, I had to ask the sales associate at the store to help me get my shoe off.

Humbling.

However, I can already say it's totally worth it. I love that 20 miles can be covered in 1 1/2 hours. I adore the wind in my face. I'll admit that I feel like a badass at the stoplight, making a left turn, with the cars, on a bike. (Although, it is frightening at times and most of my routes are planned around not making left turns.) And I giggle like a little girl laugh at how ridiculous I look in my spandex shorts with the butt-padding.

So that's my "adventure" for the week! If you can call that an adventure? Oh, and I got certified to resuscitate newborns in emergency deliveries! Basically, I get another card to put in my file and another group of letters to put on my resume! But it does give me a little comfort to be more educated on this matter.

3 comments:

Marlys said...

I admire you for learning a new sport! I think I will stick to a regular bike as road biking doesn't sound easy! Do you wear knee pads in case you fall? I'm sure that practice will make perfect! Enjoy the wind in your face!

Marlys said...

And by the way, spring arrived today! It is supposed to get to 60 degrees! And where the snow is melting, we see green grass! Yikes, that means MOWING will soon follow!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

You are learning lots by taking on this sport! It is humbling but I am glad you have friends to help you out. I have never been on a road bike, but I did ride the cruisers quite a bit in Minneapolis through the bike program and I got to the point where I was pretty comfortable in traffic, so that is good. I def avoided left turns as much as i could though or only did them at certain intersections!